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Article on dress codes chicago (ap)

Millerp

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CHICAGO (AP) -- It's the latest trend in fall fashion: Workers and students who dress down or show too much skin are being told to button up.
Tired of staff members who they see as pushing the limits of professionalism and good taste, a growing number of employers are issuing lengthy dress codes, some with photos to illustrate the do's and don'ts. More schools also are getting stricter about student attire.
M.J. Dean, who's starting his senior year Thursday at the private Cape Cod Academy in Osterville, Massachusetts, discovered new rules at his school when he received the updated student handbook this summer. Among the new guidelines: no pants with side pockets, including popular cargo pants, or T-shirts with writing on them -- and "no tight or excessively loose clothing."
"This very strict new dress code is, quite honestly, ridiculous," says the 17-year-old student body vice president. "You can't really represent yourself the way you'd like."
Likewise, some employees think they should be trusted to use good judgment about their clothes. Joe D'Adamo, associate creative director at Chicago ad agency LKH&S, usually wears jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers to work, and dresses up when he sees clients.
He says a specific dress code would be "irritating" -- but that hasn't stopped bosses at some companies.
Effective this week, Target Corp. has a new, 20-page dress code for employees at its Minneapolis headquarters. Men must now wear a sport coat or tie if they leave their usual work area. Women are required to wear a jacket over any sleeveless blouse; sweater sets are among the other options.
The staff at G.S. Schwartz & Co., a New York investor and public relations firm, also received a recent e-mail memo asking them to bump up their apparel choices "at least one more notch."
"For example," the memo read, "we would prefer that properly fitting sweaters be worn with a collared shirt underneath. Certainly, khakis should be neat and clean ...
"Shaving regularly also is a good idea," the memo suggested, "for either sex."
Rachel Honig Peters, a senior vice president at the company, says the e-mail was sent after company officials noticed their clients dressing up more.
Elsewhere, business owners in the service industry say customer complaints are driving them to put tougher dress codes in place.
That was the case for Erika Mangrum, owner of the Iatria Spa and Health Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. She recalls sending one employee home to change after she came to work wearing a cropped Playboy T-shirt that showed her stomach and a navel ring.
"This is really tough stuff," says Mangrum, who understands how frustrating dress codes can be for employees. Mangrum herself once got in trouble, more than a decade ago, for not wearing panty hose when she worked at a major telecommunications firm.
Now, she's had to institute a dress code at her own company _ "no shorts, no denim, no flip-flops." And she's wondering if she should add rules about piercings.
"How far can and should a company go? We're wrestling with that," Mangrum says. "And frankly, we don't have an answer."
The good news, say those who monitor trends, is that modesty and more formal attire are gaining favor even with teens and 20somethings. Many employers say that young workers are the most frequent dress code offenders.
Tina Wells, the 20something CEO of Buzz Marketing, says anxiousness over the economy, the war in Iraq and the upcoming election have created a mood that's more "focused and serious."
"Besides, how much lower could low-rise jeans get?" quips Wells, whose New Jersey firm compiles feedback from teen advisers.
In the end, Thomas Evans, headmaster at Cape Cod Academy, says he'd rather not have to police student attire. But he says administrators at the K-12 school had little choice after parents of younger students complained about some older students' clothing.
Much the same has happened at schools elsewhere, from Texas to Kansas and Illinois.
In Chicago, for instance, strict dress codes -- and uniforms -- are a matter of safety, since the way a student wears a pant leg, a bracelet or a hat can indicate a gang affiliation.
And even Dean, the student body vice president at Cape Cod, acknowledges that a few students at his school dressed inappropriately last year -- "skankily," he says, "if that's a word."
He just doesn't think everyone should be punished over the actions of a few. So he and other students plan to meet with their headmaster to see if he'll loosen the dress code.
Asked what he thinks their chances are, he sighs: "Slim to none."
 

JLibourel

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"No pants with side pockets"
... What does this mean? Every pair of trousers I have ever owned in my entire life has had "side" as well as "hip" pockets. I can't believe that that is the meaning of what is proscribed. Do they mean pockets on the legs of the trousers, as on cargo pants? Some cargo pants have special pockets for a folding knife usually along the outside seam of the pants leg. I can comprehend the reason for banning knife pockets at school. Anyway, can someone please clarify this curious matter for me?
 

LA Guy

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Bradford

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A private school with a dress code, what are the odds
As to work, I think a dress code is necessary. I work as an Account Executive at a company that operates call centers and it is scary what some of our employees show up wearing when we have casual, dress-down days. Last time I asked the call-center manager if it was dress-down day or "boxer short and wife beater lie on the couch and watch football day." Business casual has to be fairly strictly defined or it just slides downhill. Bradford
 

LA Guy

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Bradford

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So now I know who to blame when I get the preemptive "Do you mind if I put you on hold for a moment thanks." followed by Musak version of Dylan songs. Â Personally, I don't care what call center employees wear, as long as they are helpful and direct and don't send me to another department that doesn't have the answers (and often reroutes my call to the first department anyway, setting up an ugly, ugly circle.) Â Oh, and if you could delete the phrase "my computer won't allow me to do that" I would appreciate it.
Actually, we only do outbound calling, so we're the annoying ones that call during dinner and ask you for a $100 pledge to charity or a political candidate
Bradford
 

TomW

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Originally Posted by LA Guy,10 Sep. 2004, 08:45
So now I know who to blame when I get the preemptive "Do you mind if I put you on hold for a moment thanks." followed by Musak version of Dylan songs. Personally, I don't care what call center employees wear, as long as they are helpful and direct and don't send me to another department that doesn't have the answers (and often reroutes my call to the first department anyway, setting up an ugly, ugly circle.) Oh, and if you could delete the phrase "my computer won't allow me to do that" I would appreciate it.
Actually, we only do outbound calling, so we're the annoying ones that call during dinner and ask you for a $100 pledge to charity or a political candidate
Bradford
Well now I know who I'm blowing the ears off with my whistle and hang up routine
Back to the subject at hand - I fully endorse and encourage the reinstatement of dress codes, especially in the educational and business environment - throw in restaurants too - better dressed people tend to behave in a more civilized and courteous manner (at least that has been my experience).
 

Kai

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Schools and businesses I agree, not restaurants.  At restaurants, people are paying for the privilege.  And restauranteurs have neve been a class well known for having any kind of style.
There are still resaurants that have a dress code, and I am glad that they do. I see nothing wrong with requiring a jacket and tie at an upscale restaurant. If people don't like it, they can pay some other restaurant for the privilege of eating there.

Reminds me of a news story I saw in New York, where a guy was complaining that he wasn't admitted to a restaurant because he didn't have on a jacket and tie. His logic was that his designer sweater cost more than the average jacket and tie, and therefore he should be admitted because he was "dressed up." If that was the standard, then I could be "dressed up" if I was wearing my mountain climbing attire, which costs more than an Oxxford suit.
 

aarghh

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Reminds me of a news story I saw in New York, where a guy was complaining that he wasn't admitted to a restaurant because he didn't have on a jacket and tie. His logic was that his designer sweater cost more than the average jacket and tie, and therefore he should be admitted because he was "dressed up." If that was the standard, then I could be "dressed up" if I was wearing my mountain climbing attire, which costs more than an Oxxford suit.
Or, extending that logic, a nudist wearing just a Patek Philippe Calatrava would be more "dressed up" than a man in a tuxedo...
 

MilanoStyle

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Yes.. I am all for that.. for those kids who feel that they need to express their feeling etc .. do that when you are done high school. When you are in highschool, try to express ur feeling with pencil and paper.

With work place, girls can go too skanky with their outfit in summer. I saw one girl (she does not work in my company) wearing tank top exposing her tummy with pin stripe black dress pants. She had huge gutt, but reguardless how your body look, tank top should not be allowed in professional environment.
 

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